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Catholic Bishops urge care for sea & people of West Papua

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Left to right: Bishop John Bosco Baremes, SM, Bishop of Port Vila, Vanuatu, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv (Parramatta), Bishop Robert McGuckin (Toowoomba), Bishop Charles Drennan, Bishop of Palmerston North, New Zealand, Archbishop Michel Calvet, SM, Archbishop of Noumea, New Caledonia and Archbishop John Ribat MSC, Archbishop of Port Moresby – ACBC Media Blog

Nabire, Jubi – Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania urge care for the sea and support the indigenous people of West Papua.

The statement is written by the committee consisted of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, New Zealand, CEPAC – the rest of the Pacific through its press statement released by scoop.co.nz, Monday (August 14).

The Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania is currently meeting in Auckland, New Zealand. They come from a multitude of island nation States spread throughout the Pacific Ocean.

They said, Bishops of the Pacific, the place of the sea in the lives of the peoples they serve were a central focus of their meeting. “Our common ocean is teeming with life and goodness. For many of our peoples the sea is their treasured source of nutrition, sustenance and livelihood. In solidarity with them, Psalm 107 resonates in our hearts: “those that do business in the great waters, they behold the world of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.”

The bishops and archbishops aware of the impact of climate change on island nations and have been visiting communities and recording the destruction of shorelines affecting them.

They also said that they have particular interest in the “Blue Economy” to uphold a model of development that respects the fundamental importance of sustainability that looks way beyond any perceived short term economic windfall.

“Members of Parliament and local Governors and other civic authorities have a particular duty to promote long term economic and social development and to be vigilant in guarding against any attempts by international businesses to exploit our common resource,” it said.

They applaud government, community and private initiatives to develop water ecotourism and sustainable sea fishing. They also reaffirm that they are not “anti-development”. They look to the common good and thus advocate for an integrated approach to development where local customary practices are respected and communities are assisted to grow employment opportunities.

On West Papua

A further focus has been the livelihood and cultural integrity of the people of West Papua.

They said clearly that they do not promote a view in regard to independence (of West Papua). “Indeed we believe that where this question becomes a single focus, care to uphold and strengthen local institutions of democracy may be overlooked,” they said.

The federation echoes the call for quality education in Papua, for fair and transparent access to jobs, training programmes and employment, for respect of land titles, and for clear boundaries between the role of defense and police forces and the role of commerce.

They claimed that the large majority of indigenous people of Papua seek peace and the various dialogue groups, advocating and witnessing to peaceful co-existence, are a source of hope for all.

They will hold the Plenary Assembly in Port Moresby in April 2017 to which is invited all the bishops of Oceania. And the theme then will be – ‘Care of our Common Home of Oceania: A sea of possibilities’.

The statement signed by two Archbishops and four Bishops. They Archbishops are: Archbishop Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC (President), Archbishop of Port Moresby, PNG and Archbishop Michel Calvet SM, Archbishop of Noumea, New Caledonia. And the four Bishops are: Bishop Robert McGuckin (Deputy President) Bishop of Toowoomba, Australia; Bishop Colin Campbell, Bishop of Dunedin, New Zealand; Bishop Charles Drennan, Bishop of Palmerston North, New Zealand; and Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, Australia.(*)

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Provincial health team takes more rest than work, says Kopkedat

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GIDI church missionaries, pastor and Kopkedat Papua provide public health services in Okmakot Village, Seradala Sub-district, Yahukimo District. – Jubi/Agus Pabika

Jayapura, Jubi – Chairman of Humanitarian Care Community for Remote Areas Papua (Kopkedat) Yan Akobiarek states despite education, public health services in Papua’s remote areas are still an issue.

Although the provincial health office has provided services to remote areas through several health programs such as Satgas Kaki Telanjang, Save Korowai and Nusantara Sehat, these programs have not well implemented.

“I think sending teams to remote areas is a good idea, but I get the impression that some team members only come for vacation, to work less and get more rest,” said Akobiarek told Jubi by phone on Tuesday (10/7/2018). For instance, he pointed out the team of Satgas Kaki Telanjang who are supposed to provide health service to villagers in Korowai. After the Ied al-Ftir break, their members are still not returning to their duty station.

Meanwhile, Maria Duwitau, the Vice Chairman of the Commission V on education and health of the Papuan House of Representative said doing health services in Papua, in particularly remote areas, is always connecting with a commitment. “No matter how greater of the offer, but without willingness and commitment, I think it’s useless,” Duwitau told Jubi not long ago. (*)

 

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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SKP HAM urges the government to open democratic space for Papuan students

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SKP HAM in a press conference in LBH Papua office. – Jubi/LBH Surabaya.Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – Solidarity for the Victims of Human Rights Violation (SKP HAM) Papua urge the Indonesian Government to open democratic space for Papuan students and conduct a thorough investigation on sexual harassment by a police officer at Papuan dormitory in Surabaya on last Friday (6/7/2018).

The Coordinator of SKP HAM Peneas Lokbere said the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia of1945 in the Article 28E Paragraph 3 and the Law No. 39 of1999 on Human Rights Article 24 Paragraph 1 state, “Each person has the right to associate, assemble and express his opinions peacefully” but what have been occurred to the Alliance of Papuan Students is a violation against the constitution.

“The police and military officers and members of the civil service police unit came to student dormitory trying to stop the weekly discussion. The students also witnessed the security forces carrying long-barrier guns. It was such an ironic,” Lokbere stated in the press release received by Jubi on Wednesday (11/8/2018).

Further, he stated that according to the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Surabaya, the incident occurred when the Tambaksari Sub-district Chief accompanied by the police, military and civil service police unit of Surabaya Municipality came to the dormitory in the inspection of civil registration. “However, when students and public attorney from LBH Surabaya asked for an official letter, the sub-district chief was not able to show it.”

Meanwhile, the Director of LBH Papua Simon Pattirajawane said what have done by the security forces, in this case, is a violation against the human rights. “The Human Rights Commission should immediately form an investigation team to investigate this alleged case of intimidation, terror and racism against Papuan students in several cities in Java, including Surabaya, Malang and Yogyakarta.” (*)

 

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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West Papua activists stopped by Solomons police

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Ben Didiomea displays the West Papuan flag as Indonesian staff try to usher him away. – Photo: Facebook/ Ben Didiomea

Solomon, Jubi – Solomon Islands police says they confiscated a West Papuan flag at the Melanesian Arts Festival to stop any provocation aimed at the Indonesian delegation.

Ben Didiomea had his flag taken by police over the weekend after he held it up in front of Indonesia’s festival stall to protest its inclusion at the event.

A video on Facebook shows Mr Didiomea – who was part of a group of demonstrators – holding up West Papua’s Morning Star flag as Indonesian officials tried to move him away from the stall.

He was then approached by Solomon Islands Police who confiscated the flag.

Mr Didiomea said he had been standing in solidarity with fellow Melanesian people of Indonesia’s Papua region, where the Morning Star is banned.

He said the Melanesian Arts Festival, which Honiara hosted over the last ten days, was not intended as an Asian festival.

Police issued a statement saying the flag was removed to prevent provocation of the Indonesians, reminding the demonstrators that it was not a political event.

Mr Didiomea, who along with two other demonstrators was questioned by police, said the inclusion of Indonesia at the Arts Festival was a political move by the Solomons government.

“Because it was a festival of Melanesia, Indonesia is not part of Melanesia. So why does it need an Indonesia stall at the arts festival? It’s a Melanesian festival, so what are Indonesia coming to arts festival?”

Changing relationship

According to Mr Didiomea, the police action was a sign that the country was forming a closer relationship with Indonesia.

The Solomon Islands government under prime minister Rick Hou has recently shown signs that it was pursuing a different policy regarding West Papua to that of the previous prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare, who is now the deputy prime minister, campaigned internationally about West Papuan human rights issues. He was also supportive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and instrumental in its admission to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015.

However after he was replaced by Mr Hou late last year, the Solomons government has been notably less vocal about West Papua human rights issues in international fora.

A visit in April by a Solomons delegation to Indonesia’s provinces of Papua and West Papua at the invitation of Jakarta was billed as having added “balance” to the government’s view on West Papuan issues.

The Solomons government told RNZ Pacific in May that it was consulting with the provinces as it formulated an official position on West Papuan human rights and self-determination issues. (*)

 

Source: radionz.co

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